Why You Should Be Active On Google+
Well Facebook has been getting all the publicity lately while Google+ has been very, very quietly kicking their butt. In fact right now Facebook has about 800 million people checking in per month, but Google plus has nearly 50% more with 1.2 billion people using it on a monthly basis.
What is interesting is that I’ve seen most social media pro’s ( I use this term lightly) focusing on Facebook and Pinterest and then Twitter comes in last while the biggest kid on the block Google+ gets very little attention.
While I’m fine with that as we’ve been concentrating almost exclusively on Google+ for quite some time now, if you’re a business owner what’s amazing is most businesses don’t have a clue as to how to take advantage of Google+.
And I’m not talking I just about Mom and Pops, I’m talking about big-name brands as well.
Google+ Can Be A Bit Of A Pain
Part of this is because Google places and Google plus have been merging for quite some time now. Integration of the two has not been made easy by Google at times.
I know in some instances with just some of our clients and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for it, we have had to get seven different sets of pins for the same Google places and Google plus listings within the past six months.
As just an example, Sea World as recently as October and November on 11 of their Google+ pages had zero pictures showing for at about 60 days. I’m not sure if it ever got resolved.
Even so, spending time with Google + can pay off quite handsomely.
And here are couple reasons why if you haven’t noticed it when you search for local products or services Google+ pages come up first in almost every single instance. If you’re searching using maps which almost 51% of all mobile users now use Google maps, it almost exclusively shows results with Google + listings.
That plus if you take the time to post things on Google+ it also count towards your SEO where as with Facebook it may just be my imagination, but it almost seems that Google counts that against you.
When you add to the fact that in several studies it does appear that Facebook has jumped the shark like MySpace in that they’re losing users rather than gaining users then now is probably the best time to make the switch if you only have time and budget for one or the other.
Another annoying thing on Facebook is that even though you may have 1,000 friends on Facebook, Facebook actually throttles back who can see your posts. If you look at the number of friends and likes you have whether it’s 100 or 20,000 typically less than 15% to 20% of the updates will ever show up in your timeline so you really only have access to maybe at most 20% to as low as 15% of those people that have friended or liked you.
With Google plus it’s the exact opposite. You get can get somewhat overwhelmed with all of the information and updates that are there. Which if you have to have a problem, that is the one to have.
So if you’re not active on Google+ you really need to be as soon as you possibly can. It’s worth it to put up with their multiple pins and verification processes for the many benefits that that I have mentioned above.
Some other things that you may not know is that Google now gives you statistics such as how many people have requested directions to your business and how many people can see your listing which is great.
Also, when a Google + listing is shown, it typically will have your location with address, your phone number, and how many reviews you have with the average review rating.
So, if you have not claimed your Google + or have not checked it in awhile, do so today. You may need to reclaim it. In most cases you can do so in a few seconds via a phone call with your pin number. You have to be able to directly pick up the phone and answer it. If you have an automated phone system that is not directly connected to a live human being, you are out of luck on that. But, you can request a pin be mailed to you. 1-2 weeks is all that takes.
What are you waiting for? Make sure you are putting at least 50% of your effort into Google + and the payoff can be huge.
There are a number of other benefits that I will go into in another installment.
The one thing I have noticed about Google + versus Facebook is that if you show Google Love, they will Love you back. Facebook just seems feckless and can care less at times. We will see how well that works going forward.
The Winner Is!
I am not saying abandon Facebook, but If you only have a limited budget or amount of time and I had to choose between the two, Google+ wins hands down. If you have the time and the budget do both.